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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Big Idea for Sunday, April 13, 2014

The key to innovation, one argument goes, is the ability to see trends before they develop and think ahead of the change curve.

Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, pours some cold water on that, with his focus on "Nowism," which is the focuses on process, not prediction. In Ito's view, the greatest innovation successes are derived from serendipity, but also through a process that enables serendipity. 

Let's say you designed a dating platform. Let's say there are no takers. No problem. You have the ability to see this, change course, and then develop your product into a video sharing platform that you sell to Google for $1.6 billion. That's Nowism in practice. 


  1. 1 Joi Ito: I'm Not a Futurist, I'm a Nowist
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Singularity Is Near
    Ray Kurzweil
  3. 3 The Future of Business is Rosy
    Big Think Editors IdeaFeed
  4. 4 The Practicality of Big Ideas
    Mitchell Joachim


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